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Will therapy be even helpful?

1999 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  IsGirl3
I am trying to decide if my husband is simply the wrong person for me or if I have unreasonable expectations and wrong perceptions. I simply don't know if I should leave or if therapy will help. I am in my late twenties and we don't have any children. I need to know if there is hope or if I should just give up. When is a relationship good enough? Also, I am trying to figure out if I have too high expectations when it comes to relationships or if my relationship is actually and objectively bad. My husband thinks I have completely unrealistic expectations, that I criticize him too much, and that I have to stop thinking that there is some perfect soulmate for me out there. I am kind of confused, because I feel misunderstood and sometimes disrespected in the relationship. I just don't know if the things he does or says are completly out of line and terrible, or not that bad and simply not exactly nice. I often feel that he is a total jerk to me,but I don't really know if I'm being unfair....I also don't know if we're simply too different to make things work....

Here is a bit of background: We met 11 years ago in Europe and have been through many ups and downs. We were “broken up” for two years. I broke it off. We got back together two years ago and got engaged and moved in together. I do love him a lot. I feel very attached and close to him. He is my family and my only rock, especially since I am not close at all to my own family. (family history of constant verbal, emotional and physical abuse and lots of other problems) They live in Europe and I moved out as soon as I could. I try to keep my distance and it’s working for me, I think, but it makes me very needy in relationships because my partner is the only family I have. Due to my childhood problems, I might be bringing a lot of issues into our relationship, which might make it hard for me to act functional in any relationship. As a child, I had no friends, but I now have a large social network and a few close friends. My friends tend to come and go though. I am doing my PhD in art history and am kind of financially independent. I am not rich, but I have enough to get by. I feel often extremely dependent and needy with him. I feel I could not survive without him. I often feel trapped and no longer free. This is the only relationship I've ever had.

First, here are the things I love about him: He makes me feel safe. When he is nice, he can be extremely sweet and compliments me, he often says I love you, he is very reliable (when he says sth he does it), he cares about the environment, animal and human rights, and is generally nice to strangers and the few friends he has (although he seems to be rude to his mother), we have some common interests and can do activities together, I find him attractive, we went though a lot of things together, we also have similar family backgrounds, he doesn't have any problems related to addiction. There is no physical or sexual abuse and he has never cheated on me.

Here are the problems: I often feel little respect from him, I feel he treats me like a child, it seems he always wants to be right, I can never have a deep conversation with him, I feel he doesn’t ever respect my point of view if it differs from his, I feel in discussions that he is sometimes condescending (he attacks my beliefs, knowledge, intelligence, weight, and most of all “the dreamer” in me. He criticizes that I am too emotional and not pragmatic/down to earth enough)
He is not very compassionate in general
He calls me too sensitive, but I don’t know how to change that about myself. I would like to learn how to control my feelings though.
I feel little interest, support and compassion from him about my chronic medical condition (nothing life-threatening, but I am often in pain)
He has a mean sense of humor and I often feel bullied by him (which brings back memories of my own childhood, during which I was bullied by my classmates all the time) He can be a bit sadistic and seems to target my insecurities.
He can be extremely rude. He uses a lot of vulgar language, which embarrasses me.
I feel that he has little ambition, which makes me wonder if I will have to be the only breadwinner one day
I feel infantilized and that he does not really see me like a woman
He often gets extremely annoyed, irritated, and angry with me
He sweats the small stuff, I sweat the big stuff
I feel he is a bit egoistic
He is almost too honest sometimes, he keeps telling me when he is attracted to women he sees in magazines. He describes them in rude ways to me, which I find gross. Is he just a pig or do many men do that?
The meaning of marriage seems to be different for us
I feel like we can never do anything spontaneous
I find it sad that he is so anti-social and doesn’t seem to enjoy spending time with people. We have no common friends.
He is often extremely rational and does not believe in anything spiritual. I am very different in that way.
We cannot have any intellectual conversations about my passions/art
He is not generous at all. In fact, he counts every penny. He does not like to share things, especially not food/meals.
I feel that he often objectifies women. He seems to be obsessed with pornography.
I am not my best self when I am with him. I feel needy, scared, depressed, dependent, trapped, disillusioned.
I constantly feel upset about some of the things he says.
He doesn’t appreciate my sense of humor. In fact he claims, I have none.
I don’t really know who he is. He keeps changing his mind about things all the time. He is very hard to follow and is easily influenced by things. There is no core to his identity, I find.
He does do some things for me sometimes, but complains about it and gets very annoyed. I am dependent on him for a lot of things, which is my fault (I often ask him to help me move stuff in the house or install things, plus I’m terrible at handling my finances and taxes)
We have lots of fights about money, which is why we don't even share our food at home.

Also, I am absolutely terrified of being alone, especially since I have no family. I have a lot of single friends and they are miserable.

Is there any hope at all and if not how could I ever survive being on my own?
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Your problems are somewhat common, as are your concerns.
You say you are very close to him, and you come from a family that you do not feel close to, and that you say is abusive.
There is a possibility that you may find any relationship that you have as abusive.
You say you are dependent upon him, could not survive without him, yet trapped and no longer free.
That is kind of contradictory.
You say he is reliable, doesn't cheat, is attractive, but is rude to his mother. I wonder how his mother feels about this.
I'll bet she doesn't find him rude, since she raised him.
You say that he disagrees with you, is condescending, and disrespects you. Does that happen often, or only when you are having an argument?
So you say he bullies you. How is that? Do you feel bullied if he asks you for an explanation? How about when he disagrees with you regarding vulgarity, or his laziness.

He grosses you out.

Men who still have hormones are attracted to all women.
He is indeed being honest with you when he admits it. You say he doesn't mess around on you, so you should be thankful for that. Men indeed can seem like pigs. Especially in their own home.
Men also are usually much less social than women. That is the way that it is.
Non spiritual people are smarter than others. Do you know your IQ and his?
It is not his fault that he doesn't believe in magic or superstition.
That is your problem.
You possibly could be intellectually miss-matched.
Since you indicated that you are terrified of being alone, and see that your single friends are miserable, my advice to you is to buck up, try being cheery and smile to him when you greet him.
When you have an issue with his behavior or off the cuff statements, whatever you do, don't sulk. It will adversely affect your mood, he will notice it, and then you will feel bullied.
Remember, you have to allow yourself to be bullied.
Don't misunderstand this though. Fighting back when you mistakenly feel bullied is not the answer.
You said that he is smart, so when he does something that irritates you , you should try to remember how terrified you would be being alone, and calmly try to discuss it with him at the time of the incident, not later. Smile when you do that and when he disagrees with you, smile and tell him ok, I just wanted you to know that I don't like that, but anyway, let's have fun.
Don't get angry and sulk. That is a terrible thing to do.
You will find that if you smile a lot, things will change big time.
You both have something that feeds the other. Don't be a prude about sex. A man who is sexually satisfied is less likely to be interested in porn. Keep him spent all of the time.
Since you are in pain a lot, take some pain meds and then satisfy him.
Have a nice day.
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